Health And Wellness

10 Tiny Signs You're Not Taking Good Care Of Yourself

Photo: Alliance Images, Kitzzeh | Canva 
Tired woman

By now, you've heard of self-care so the question is: why aren’t you doing it? Yes, I know, you have a million things to do. You aren’t sure if you’ll ever get them done, but you are sure going to try. This could come with a cost. And that cost is you. So, why don't you take care of yourself?

Nobody can do it all. But, you are led to believe that you can. Too often, you worry about others and try to take care of them — but you don't worry about yourself. It’s alright to chip away at your to-do list. Do a little today and then a little tomorrow, and so on. Make sure you listen to your body and take breaks when you need to. The good news is you can learn how to take care of yourself and self-care ideas are ready and available for you.

RELATED: The #1 Most Effective Self-Care Ritual — According To 34 Healing & Wellness Experts

Here are 10 tiny signs you're not taking good care of yourself:

1. You get sick a lot

According to the CDC, the average adult gets around two to three colds per year. If you find that you're getting sick way more often than that, it may be because your body is in need of some TLC. Chronic stresslack of sleep, no exercise and poor nutrition can all contribute to wearing your body down over time, leading to you getting sick more than most. 

2. You find yourself snapping at others for no reason

There's no denying that irritating things are bound to happen from day to day. However, if you find yourself extremely annoyed by even the smallest transgressions and take your anger out on people who don't deserve it, it may be a sign that you're not taking good care of yourself.

According to Healthline, increased irritability can happen for several reasons, both mental and physical, including sleep deprivation, stress, anxiety and depression.

3. You are surprised at how easily frustrated you get

Frustration is a natural response to stress, but when you're taking good care of yourself, the feeling comes and goes. However, WebMD notes that long-term stress has several negative effects on your overall well-being and can eventually begin negatively affecting your relationships if you begin taking your frustration out on others.



4. Your friends and loved ones are pulling away from you

Left unchecked, WebMD explained that irritability and frustration can lead to aggressive behavior. If people constantly feel like they have to walk on eggshells around you, they may no longer want to spend time in your presence.

5. You rely on caffeine, painkillers, wine, or some other substance to get you through the day

We all have coping mechanisms to get us through the hard days, but if you find yourself constantly turning to things like caffeine and other substances to temporarily make yourself feel better, it's a sign of an underlying issue or issues that should be addressed. While unhealthy coping mechanisms such as alcohol, painkillers and even caffeine provide temporary relief but often make the underlying problems worse in the lung run, Charlie Health has explained.

RELATED: 7 Little Ways The Healthiest People Take Care Of Themselves Each Day

6. You dread going to work

Even those who love their jobs sometimes have days where they'd rather just stay home. However, consistently abandoning projects you once felt excited about, skating by doing the bare minimum or calling out of work altogether are red flags that suggest your lack of motivation may be due to something more serious.

7. You are fatigued, and can’t seem to snap out of it

Feeling tired throughout the day is not normal. A constant lack of energy can be caused by both physical and mental ailments that should be addressed sooner rather than later.



8. You’re on edge and worry all the time

It's natural to worry from time to time, but if you feel squeezed from all angles all the time, it may be a signal from your body that something's gotta give.

9. You can’t remember the last time you treated yourself to anything

If all you do is work, come home and repeat, you're bound to start feeling burnt out. We all deserve a little treat every now and again, whether that's ordering takeout on a night that you really don't feel like making dinner or spending an extra hour in bed on a weekend morning just because.

10. You don’t feel creative and are no longer trying new things

Feeling bored by everything and not being able to find the joy in everyday life is a sign that you've been all work and no play for far too long! 



If you didn’t say "yes" to any of these things, then good for you — you've mastered the art of self-care! This is not an easy thing to do. But, if you said "yes" to one of these things, then you aren’t worried about yourself enough or taking very good care of yourself. I think way too many people say "yes" to this list. You live in a fast-paced society and are told to do more. That’s what you need to do to get ahead. But, this leaves you feeling empty and like it’s never enough.

Here are 5 important self-care tips and activities to apply to your life:

1. Start your day with mindfulness

I start every day with 10-15 minutes of mindfulness. This helps me clear my mind and get ready for the day. Before I started this, I always woke up worrying about what I had to do that day and if I would have enough time to get it all done. Now, I know it’s alright if I don’t get everything done. There is always tomorrow and the next day for that matter.

RELATED: If You Keep Up These 21 Habits, You'll Never Be Stressed

2. Schedule time slots when you don’t work

You don’t have to have every time slot on your calendar filled with work. This may make you feel more productive, but you aren’t giving yourself a break. This will lead to burning out in the long run. You can set one up in the morning, in the middle of the day, and the evening. You can start small, if you’d like, with 5-10 minutes. When you take this time you can’t work or even think about work. Go for a walk or just sit and relax. I started this a while ago and it has changed my life. I no longer feel fatigued in the middle of the day, and I am more productive.

3. Get enough sleep

Research has found that more sleep equates to happiness. When you don’t get enough sleep, you are more forgetful and irritable. This also affects your work and home life. Set up a sleep schedule. Try to go to bed at a regular time and get up at a regular time. But, try not to stress over the sleep schedule. There will be times that it doesn’t work out and that is alright.



4. Spend time with friends and family

These are the people that support you the most. The next time you are feeling stressed out, give one of them a call. Instead of talking about what is stressing you out, talk about what you like. Let them know about the latest podcast you just heard or about the friendly guy you were talking to in the grocery store line. If you can’t think of anything, then invite them out on a fun adventure like going on a hike or watching a funny movie.

5. Get outside

Take in the fresh air and sunshine and get out into nature. The outdoors is great for your mental health. Notice the environment you are in. If you see a pretty flower, stop and look at it. Take a picture, if you’d like. Notice the detail of the bark on the trees or how the squirrels run up and down them. If there is water around, stop and look at how the sun glistens on the water.

You can also ride your bike if you’d like. Just get outside and stop thinking about work and family. This is a great time to embrace the present. Now that you have this self-care checklist, it's time to start making self-care a priority and then stop feeling guilty about it. Take a look at the big picture. Eventually, you will get the things you want in life. But, you do need to give it some time. What’s important is that you are having fun along the way.

RELATED: 10 Tiny Warning Signs Something’s Up With Your Health

Lianne Avila is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a practice in San Mateo, CA. Her work has been featured in Psych Central, BRIDES, and Prevention.